Welcome 2021 with Resolutions and Traditional Japanese foods eaten during New Year

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and fun celebration ringing in 2021. It was a fun and loud evening, filled with family, lots of food, drinks, and beautiful and booming fireworks in my neighborhood.

Good riddance, 2020! However, lest we forget what happened and what we encountered over the last year. A year that woke me up, and made me stronger, resilient, and a conqueror because of it.

I love how the first of each new month and year gives us a chance to reflect on ourselves and how we’ll do better and be superior from the previous year.

2021 will be ours to own! I welcome the new year with open arms. I’m ready to rock n roll!

Lucky 21 New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Reflect on positive thinking and affirmations
  2. Be open and accepting to change
  3. Make self-care a daily habit
  4. Choose healthier foods
  5. Hydrate with water
  6. Exercise regularly
  7. Be kind to self and others
  8. Listen wholeheartedly
  9. Forgive
  10. Give from the heart and soul
  11. Keep learning and expanding new horizons
  12. Take care of physical, mental, and emotional health
  13. Stretch
  14. Dream and take risks
  15. Take deep breaths
  16. Meditate and quiet the mind
  17. Dance, dance, dance
  18. Keep setting goals- small or big
  19. Believe, hope, and pray often
  20. Take breaks
  21. Keep loved ones close

Each week of this new year, I’ll be sharing ethnic dishes from around the globe. This week, it’s Japanese cuisine. Specifically, traditional Japanese foods eaten during the New Year.

The featured collage image from L-R:

  • ahi chu toro (tuna belly) and hamachi (yellowtail) sashimi
  • nishime (Japanese stew)
  • fried ebi (shrimp)
  • homemade mochi (with kinako (roasted soybean flour) and azuki red bean)
  • kuromame (black beans with sweet syrup)
  • ōzoni dashi (mochi soup)
  • ōzoni with soba (buckwheat noodles)
  • homemade mochi
  • hot soba with homemade konbu (seaweed) and pork broth. These are some of the foods my family and I eat on New Year’s Eve and Day

When my paternal grandmother was alive, she made a slew of Japanese and local Hawai’i dishes for NYE and NYD celebrations. These are the dishes I remember her making:

  • nishime
  • saimin (local Hawai’i noodle soup) with assorted veggies and char siu (Chinese pork)
  • kazunoko (herring roe)
  • konbumaki (knotted kelp/seaweed)
  • kinpira gobo (braised burdock root) and carrots
  • namasu (vinegar salad)
  • hasu (lotus root)
  • tazukuri (dried sardines)

Gram made everything from scratch and by taste. She didn’t write down any of the recipes. I wish she did. Since she’s been gone, we don’t eat half of the dishes she used to make. I would love to continue the tradition of making her exquisite dishes one day…

Perhaps 2021 may be the year to resurrect these old traditional dishes and put Foodnista’s touch to them. I was able to make my late paternal grandfather’s/grand-aunt’s holiday butter cookies a few years ago. There was no clear instructions to the recipe; only the ingredients. So, I had to experiment and create the recipe on my own. I knew that those cookies would have a different taste to them since they weren’t made from my grand-aunt’s hands. Now, they have my own twist to them and I can call these cookies my own. I hope to do that with the New Years dishes my late gram used to make.

Thankfully, we were able to continue making Gram’s saimin and ōzoni. We put our own touch on these dishes overtime. Our famous local restaurant, Zippy’s, started making nishime a few years ago, so we started ordering from them. My family says it doesn’t taste quite like Gramma’s, but I think it’s close enough!

The significance of eating these Japanese dishes is that they are to bring us good luck, prosperity, and long life for the new year. My family really believes in this. Also, the food is just absolutely savory, and it brings our family together to enjoy the meal as one.

Have a glorious first weekend of 2021!

Peace!

FS x